Out actors and creators vying for Emmy gold

Entertainment plays a key role in promoting cultural understanding of LGBTQ lives around the world

The 69th Annual Emmy Awards are coming up next month, and several out actors, writers, and creators are hoping to bring home that trophy.

Entertainment plays a key role in promoting cultural understanding of LGBTQ lives around the world, particularly in places where simply being yourself can be a risk. TV (and all other forms of entertainment media) has always had a reciprocal relationship with society – reflecting social attitudes while also shaping them as audiences learn more about new types of characters. Acceptance comes with the understanding that is reached by connecting with a character on a personal level from your living room. That is why the stories that make it to our screens – and further, the stories that are honored – are important, and should reflect the world we know.

Add your voice to the conversation with #RepresentationMatters

GLAAD will be running a series of digital ads in Variety this weekend to urge Emmy voters to take a look at the LGBTQ nominees before voting ends on August 28.

Courtesy of Netflix
Laverne Cox as Sophia Burset, Netflix's Orange is the New Black. Photo: Netflix

The stories that make it to our screens are important, and should reflect the world we know.

Out actress Evan Rachel Wood is nominated in Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her work on HBO’s Westworld. Lily Tomlin scored a nomination in Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on Netflix's Grace and Frankie for the second year in a row. Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon is nominated in Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, a category she won last year. Samira Wiley is nominated in Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Moira on The Handmaid’s Tale. Out actors BD Wong (Mr Robot’s Whiterose, a hacker who happens to be trans and China’s Minister of State Security) and Denis O’Hare (This is Us’ Jessie, the boyfriend of Randall’s biological father) both scored nominations in Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series. Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black) and Shannon Purser (Stranger Things) are both nominated in Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, while Wanda Sykes picked up a nomination in Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for black-ish. Tituss Burgess was nominated in Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Jane Lynch (Dropping the Soap) picked up a nomination in Outstanding Actress in a Short Form Comedy or Drama Series.

Lily Tomlin - Courtesy of Netflix
Lily Tomlin as Frankie Bergstein, Jane Fonda as Grace Hanson, Lisa Kudrow as Sheree, Netflix's Grace and Frankie. Photo: Netflix

LGBTQ writers, creators, and hosts are up for Emmy nods as well! To name a few, Ellen Page’s Gaycation with Ellen Page is nominated in Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program. Out director Jamie Babbit picked up a nomination in Outstanding Director for a Comedy Series. Ryan Murphy is credited with five nominations, including Outstanding Directing and Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special. Lena Waithe is nominated in Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for the “Thanksgiving” episode of Master of None, which tells the story of her character Denise’s coming out and her relationship with her family over decades of holiday dinners. Waithe made history as the first black women to be nominated for an Emmy in the comedy writing category.

Don’t miss the 69th Annual Emmy Awards live on Sunday, September 17, at 8p EST/5p PST on CBS. Add your voice to the conversation with #RepresentationMatters!

Lena Waithe - Courtesy of Netflix
Angela Bassett as Catherine, Lena Waithe as Denise, Netflix's Master of None. Photo: Netflix
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